For Jennie

by Marinka on August 10, 2011

People talk about Twitter in terms of wasting time.

The fleeting comments, the 140 character observations.

The complaints about the weather, the what should I have for lunch, the I am bored, entertain me, oh, the world is imploding and here, let me Twitpic the pair of shoes I covet.

I get it.

But there’s a different side of Twitter.

One January, over two years ago, I sat at my computer, early in the morning and tweeted that I was going to get a mammogram later that day. Routine, but always terrifying. My kids were still asleep and I was catching a few moments online, before I had to get ready for their day, before getting a mammogram that I’d been dreading.

And then I got a response. It was from Jennifer Perillo, a writer that I’d met once, casually, at a NYC blogging event. We’d exchanged a few words there– pleasantries, the stuff events are made of. But when I tweeted that I was nervous about getting a mammogram, she responded.

She told me, in a direct message, that no one else could see, that she would be free shortly (after a school drop off? After a babysitter arrived. I’m sorry that I don’t remember) and that she would come with me to my appointment. To be supportive. Because she knew that I was scared.

With no advance notice.

For no other reason than she’d read my tweet and as a mother, she understood my panic.

The connection that I’d felt at that moment was real. And spoke so much more of her character than the 140 characters contained.

This is a woman that volunteered, without a second thought.

I’d held on to that moment ever since. I think about it often. When shit gets flung on Twitter. When people are mean just for sport, I think about Jennie, who was so generous with me when she absolutely didn’t have to be.

I’m thinking about Jennie this week.

This week Jennifer’s husband passed away suddenly, from a heart attack.

This week, I watched her husband’s last dance with their beautiful daughter.

This week, I, like many others, am trying to find words, knowing that they could never possibly be enough.

Jennie is someone that I know almost completely from Twitter. And it’s fitting that I know most of you from blogging.

I’m asking you today please to say a prayer for Jennie and her family. To send positive vibes and strength and all the positive energy that you have to spare to her.

I’ll be thinking of Jennie forever.


Please read this post if you’re local and would like to help.

One year ago ...

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Lily August 10, 2011 at 12:59 am

This is wonderful, amazing, and heart-wrenching. Thank you for sharing.


Alison@Mama Wants This
August 10, 2011 at 1:27 am

My thoughts and prayers are with Jennie and her family.

And with you Marinka.


August 10, 2011 at 7:23 am

More of us should act as Jennie did – out of kindness, love and selflessness. Sending extra prayers her way.


August 10, 2011 at 7:44 am

So sad and hugs to Jennie and you for your support of your friendship. I always thought and still do think that online, some peoples persona’s are that of mean girls and it takes alot of weeding to find the nice people. I am glad you found a woman of heart. Give her a hug and let her know that you will bug her in a few weeks because when all the newness of his passing is over and alot of people go on with their lives.


Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up)
August 10, 2011 at 7:58 am

I don’t know Jennie although she sounds like an amazing person. People put down Twitter but i’ve made lasting relationships through the people i’ve met there. I’ll be thinking of Jennie but also of the many people who i’ve connected with in meaningful ways.

BTW, to be funny in a 140 characters is rare and you are EXCEPTIONALLY good at it. Just thought i’d add that.


Rene Foran August 10, 2011 at 8:19 am

Praying for wisdom, grace and strength for you and your family, Jennie.


erin@mommyonthespot August 10, 2011 at 8:58 am

This whole post made me all teary. My thoughts are with Jennie and her family.


August 10, 2011 at 9:22 am

Prayers and thoughts for Jennie and her family.

Our connections in this social media universe are real. Very real.


dusty earth mother August 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

Oh, no, no. How heartbreaking. I am praying right now.


Mama Kat August 10, 2011 at 9:57 am



Tracy @nystoopmama
August 10, 2011 at 9:58 am

Every time I even *think* of her “Last Dance” post I get choked up, and I’ve never even met her. Lovely tribute.


August 10, 2011 at 10:00 am

Beautiful Marinka. I share your sentiment. Jennifer is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.


Sara @ PeriwinklePapi
August 10, 2011 at 10:15 am

My prayers to Jennie and her family. thank you for sharing Marinka and I agree, Twitter is way, way, more than just 140 chars. It can be a lifeline.


August 10, 2011 at 10:20 am

These are the things that scare me about life…because I see them happen.

Two years ago here, a woman’s son fell off his skateboard and cracked his head, Dying.

He was 12.

So sorry for your friend, so very sorry.


MangoChutney August 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

That’s sweet, and sad all wrapped in one. I pray for her strength.


August 10, 2011 at 10:26 am

There are no words that I can think of to comfort someone in such a devastating time. All I can think of, is I hope she is comforted by the support she has received from her blogging/twitter friends during this time. She is a beyond special person to have such an impact. The beautiful words written about her, her spirit, and her love for life and family are inspirational to the rest of us and speak volumes to her character. I know I’ve hugged my family a whole lot tighter since Sunday.


August 10, 2011 at 10:30 am

What an amazing wonderful and generous thing for her to have done. Many many well wishes for Jenny and her children, I can’t imagine the pain they must be in.


Megan August 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

What a wonderful woman. What a tragedy. Prayers being said, healing Karma being sent out.


Bewildered Bug
August 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

My condolences to Jenny and her family. She sounds like an amazing woman. I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose my Luv Luv.

She is definitely in my prayers – such a generous woman does not deserve such a hard experience – but as always, we must trust in God’s plan.

I’m going home to hug my hubby 🙁


August 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

As a mom and a widow raising two kids on my own, my heart stopped as I read this post and aches for your friend, Jennie and her family. I am not local, but will be adding Jennie to my prayer list. 🙁


Tonia Sanders
August 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

This is so touching. It’s true that some of the best friends, our favorite people and supporters are found online, and we are there for each other in times of need.

Your response to her loss is that of a real true friend! You both are blessed to have each other.


An Authentic Life
August 10, 2011 at 11:32 am

Sending love and white light to Jennie…
And hopefully she recognizes in a Twitter world, she is not alone.


Roxanne August 10, 2011 at 11:53 am

Sending love and positive energy to Jennie and her family.

Your post is very touching, Marinka. Wonderful.


August 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Oh wow. Amazing. Sending my prayers for her and her family. God Bless you and her and hers.


anna see August 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I am so sorry.


awesome dude August 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Life and peace are very fragile. I will pray for all the people in her family.


August 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Sending prayers and love to her.
This may be too early but depending on their financial issues, may be able to help.


Brittany (BrittanyandTahn) August 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Marinka, I have been thinking about this post all day. Ever since I read it over my cereal this morning, then clicked over to Jennie’s blog and read the post about her husband – and watched the video of him dancing with his young daughter.

I don’t really have anything to say except I am thankful that you shared this with us. I will send positive thoughts and prayers to Jennie and her family. I can be thankful for my life and thankful that I am not dealing with such a tragedy.

I will continue to think about Jennie everyday.


Robin @ Farewell, Stranger
August 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm

So unbelievably tragic. That’s a beautiful story that says so much about who Jennie is. I wish she didn’t have to endure this pain.


@analogyqueen August 10, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Isn’t it amazing when most of our day’s work involve words and saying the right thing at the right time…….we have none.
Condolences are awful. No words make the hurt feel any better. I hate that.


Lady Jennie August 11, 2011 at 10:58 am

I mentioned her on twitter (I couldn’t send a DM since we don’t follow each other) – my heart aches for her. It is the most painful loss.


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